Diocese Settles in Abuse Lawsuit

Cincinnati Enquirer
June 18, 2003

The Diocese of Covington will pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit filed last year by a former groundskeeper who said two priests sexually abused him in the 1970s and 1980s.

Burlington resident Mark DiMuzio, who was 44 when the suit was filed last June, said he was sexually abused by the Rev. Paul Ciangetti, who is deceased, and by Bishop J. Kendrick Williams, who resigned last year as head of the Diocese of Lexington after similar allegations were raised about his tenure as a priest in Louisville.

"Every party to the John and Mark DiMuzio suit against the Diocese of Covington is pleased to have it resolved," Bishop Roger Foys said in a statement. Mark DiMuzio and his father, John, who was a diocese maintenance director for 42 years, said in the lawsuit they were exposed to a "sexually charged workplace" and were harassed and fired when they complained.

The claims that John DiMuzio was sexually harassed, and that the father and son were dismissed for reporting the abuse, were settled in a separate, confidential resolution, said Barb Bonar, the DiMuzios' attorney.

In a separate statement, the DiMuzios praised Bishop Foys for his role in settling the lawsuit.

"The pastoral guidance of Bishop Roger Foys and Chancellor Gerald Reinersman was what initially paved way for the resolution, and through our faith, and continual prayer, we were able to bring it to a resolution," the DiMuzio statement said.

The settlement, which diocese spokesman Tim Fitzgerald said was worked out Monday, had not been filed in Kenton County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.

Church officials in Covington told the Enquirer last year that Bishop Williams had a good reputation and clean personnel record during his tenure in Northern Kentucky. During his resignation, he denied allegations brought against him by three men.

The Rev. Gerald Reinersman, the diocese's chancellor, said he didn't pursue the allegations against Bishop Williams because Mark DiMuzio was an adult at the time of the alleged abuse.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.